Antwerp’s Christmas Market

I’ve blogged numerous times about Antwerp (Antwerpen/Anvers), one of my favorite cities in Belgium. But I don’t think I ever mentioned the most popular story behind how the city got its name. Legend has it that there was once a giant named Antigoon who charged a toll on shippers crossing the river Scheldt. If they failed to pay the toll, he’d cut off their hands and toss them into this very river. One day a young hero, Brabo, defeated the giant and threw Antigoon’s hand into the Scheldt. This same lore hence explains the name Antwerpen as having derived from the Dutch words hand werpen (werpen = to throw):

Walking around the streets of this culturally diverse city during the holidays is a fantastic experience…

and Antwerp’s Christmas market is one of the better ones I’ve seen so far. It is held at the Groenplaats, just in front of the Hilton:

There seem to be better vendors to me, even if overall the merchandise is more or less the same…

The requisite outdoors ice skating rink is also there, in front of City Hall:

And near the front entrance of the grand Cathedral of Our Lady there’s a life sized nativity scene,

which you can recreate yourself in miniature sizes by buying the individual pieces at the church’s gift shop:

If you’re waiting for another gratuitous picture of the Belgian waffle, it won’t happen in Antwerp. Because when I’m in this town, it’s a tradition to get dim sum instead…and I got a lot of it earlier today…

which might explain why I’m working off my heavy lunch by offering to work for Santa Claus…

Sure hope I get to wake up to a white Christmas tomorrow morning!

1 Comment

  1. Claudia

    simply breathtaking pics. Thanks for posting, Larkie.

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